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Robin Garr

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POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Robin Garr » Mon May 05, 2008 10:25 am

Thanks to all of you who participated in last week's poll on the maximum price you'd be willing to pay for a bottle of "everyday" wine. With good participation from WLDG and 30 Second Wine Advisor readers, we got almost 1,000 votes, with strong peaks in the $10 and $15 categories. See the results

Now we're following up with a related poll, asking the most you would pay for wine for a special occasion. Again, Please take a moment to vote, using the old Voting Booth poll software. The greater the participation, the more meaningful the results.

Click here to vote

Click here to see the current results
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Ian Sutton

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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Ian Sutton » Mon May 05, 2008 1:44 pm

Quite low for me...$100 as for me a special occasion doesn't need a great wine to lift it (or distract from it) and a few good friends (or one very good one :wink: ) is the perfect excuse for a really nice bottle. On that basis it was a toss-up between $50 and $100.

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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Robin Garr » Mon May 05, 2008 1:51 pm

Ian Sutton wrote:Quite low for me...$100 as for me a special occasion doesn't need a great wine to lift it (or distract from it) and a few good friends (or one very good one :wink: ) is the perfect excuse for a really nice bottle. On that basis it was a toss-up between $50 and $100.

It's a tough call for me, Ian. Normally I would quite agree with you - probably enough truly "special occasion" bottles approach the $100 mark to make that a reasonable pick for me.

But then I realized that on at least enough occasions to need two hands to count the fingers, I've invested more than that - for a birth-year Port for my dear bride to celebrate the Millennium and another to mark a landmark birthday. So in fairness I had to pick a higher number even though I don't usually go that high.

Maybe we should have polled separately for "common special occasions" and "very special special occasions"? It was really the latter that I had in mind, though.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Dale Williams » Mon May 05, 2008 2:01 pm

I put $200, as I've spent more than $100 for couple 59s for beloved's upcoming 50th (of course, I'm the one who really cares about wine....).

I have spent more than $200 for a bottle of wine before, but it was for themed offlines where I would be partially reimbursed.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Cynthia Wenslow » Mon May 05, 2008 3:48 pm

Are we talking about retail or restaurant wine list?
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by JC (NC) » Mon May 05, 2008 3:57 pm

I put $50 but actually have bought maybe two bottles at $100 or slightly over (one was a Lafite Rothschild.)
$75 might be a more accurate benchmark for me as I have paid close to that amount for a wine intended as a wedding gift or for an Allen Vineyard Pinot Noir, etc. but still rarely go over $50.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Cliff Rosenberg » Mon May 05, 2008 5:29 pm

I confess to having spent $200 a couple of times, but, for me, those wines constitute a special occasion unto themselves. For more traditional "special occasions," I like to have the wine support the occasion rather than try to compete.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Dale Williams » Mon May 05, 2008 5:45 pm

I must also throw in the "great deal" exception. In current market, if I saw '83 Cheval Blanc or '88 Rousseau Chambertin or '82 L'Evangile or other bottle I covet for $225, I'd quickly break the $200 barrier (I tried not to make my examples too ridiculous, all of those bottles were $200 within last few years).
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Doug Surplus » Mon May 05, 2008 5:50 pm

I've broken the $50 barrier already just to buy non-special occassion wine (20 yr Tawny Port, Domaine Serene Pinot) so I felt I'd have to choose $100 for a special occasion. But it would have to be very special.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Mark Lipton » Mon May 05, 2008 6:13 pm

In responding to the question, I was implicitly excepting birthyear wines purchased for once-in-a-lifetime occasions such as 40th birthdays, etc. If you want me to include those occasions, I'm not sure that there is a true upper limit. It would just take the right person/occasion to make me spring for it.

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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Robin Garr » Mon May 05, 2008 7:10 pm

Cynthia Wenslow wrote:Are we talking about retail or restaurant wine list?

To be honest, I hadn't thought about that. As I do think about it, though, it occurs to me that it doesn't really matter. It seems to me that if we ask the largest dollar amount that you're willing to spend on wine, period, then if you're willing to spend $200, you're willing to spend $200, regardless of the vendor.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Bill Hooper » Mon May 05, 2008 9:59 pm

Robin Garr wrote:
Cynthia Wenslow wrote:Are we talking about retail or restaurant wine list?

To be honest, I hadn't thought about that. As I do think about it, though, it occurs to me that it doesn't really matter. It seems to me that if we ask the largest dollar amount that you're willing to spend on wine, period, then if you're willing to spend $200, you're willing to spend $200, regardless of the vendor.


I'm not sure I agree, Robin. It's not as hard to justify spending $200 for a bottle of wine at restaurant. On many lists, that would be somewhere in the middle (and often for a rather uninteresting bottle.) Somehow it just doesn't seem like as much money when you're dining out.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Rahsaan » Mon May 05, 2008 10:11 pm

Bill Hooper wrote:I'm not sure I agree, Robin. It's not as hard to justify spending $200 for a bottle of wine at restaurant..


I agree. Plus, when it's in a restaurant, the purchase is often shared among several people (at least in my groups), which is different from going to a store and spending $200 by yourself. If people won't spend more than $20 or $30 or even $50 on wine for themselves, they'll have a pretty hard time ordering something for less in restaurants.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by John Treder » Mon May 05, 2008 10:38 pm

I voted $100. I've never spent $100 retail for a wine, but I have spend $150 at a restaurant, a couple of times.

Considering that my spreadsheet tells me that the average price I've paid, over the years, and excluding restaurant wines because they don't get into the spreadsheet, is about $20, I guess I sort of feel that a special occasion is, well, er, ah, um, uh, special.

And I've found some very special wines in the range of $8 to $35. Right now I have a couple of "special occasion" bottles that are searching more and more urgently for a special occasion. $14 and $27. :)

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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Jenise » Tue May 06, 2008 7:01 am

I've spent in the neighborhood of $250 a couple times, but once spent almost five bills on a Petrus for a wedding anniversary which was, at that, a bargain for Petrus, so I'm one of the two or three who selected that category. But it was totally a one-off: the wine was totally unworth that kind of money and discouraged me from ever doing that again!
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by Robin Garr » Tue May 06, 2008 8:31 am

Bill Hooper wrote:I'm not sure I agree, Robin. It's not as hard to justify spending $200 for a bottle of wine at restaurant. On many lists, that would be somewhere in the middle (and often for a rather uninteresting bottle.) Somehow it just doesn't seem like as much money when you're dining out.

Points well taken. Frankly, I was thinking of wine-shop retail when I posted the poll, too. But like all these polls, it's pretty much a matter of individual definition.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by David M. Bueker » Tue May 06, 2008 9:11 am

$500 is the likely limit though I have never actually spent that much. I've gone over the $300 barrier a few times for some very special bottles though.
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Re: POLL: Most you would pay for wine for a special occasion?

by OW Holmes » Wed May 07, 2008 10:25 am

At my age, every day is special - $25. And every day with Beth is extra special -$50. But for SUPER special days, $100.
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